With the 2013 Executive Elections nearly upon us, and the excitement rapidly increasing, we will undoubtedly, be eager to see this year’s hopefuls and their campaigns. However, amid all the buzz of elections we should also consider the principal question of ‘what makes the ideal candidate?’ from a student’s perspective.

Due to this year’s elections being slightly different from previous years, and the campaign budget being set at a mere £100, it is more important than ever for candidates to be able to tune into the student voters’ mindsets and recognize the expectations of what it takes to be the perfect person for the job.

In order to gain an insight into what it is that makes the perfect candidate I spoke to several students and found out what they thought on the subject.

For most it seems that, now that money isn’t the driving force behind a campaign there is a particular regard for someone who is genuinely charismatic and friendly. The ideal candidate should be intelligent and knowledgeable in their field of application, yet also possess people skills and be easy to approach.

Other qualities such as being able to stand out from the crowd, either personality wise or through their campaign will give a candidate an upper hand. Those who are confident and enthusiastic with their campaign will draw attention from voters, however, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and someone who isn’t down to earth and sincere will turn voters away. Take note boys and girls, you’ve been warned!

Words and phrases such as: leader, all rounder and balanced individual were also commonly used when describing the ideal candidate. The job of being on the Union Executive, as described by many, is fulfilling and rewarding, but at the same time it is also extremely difficult. Those who are able to display themselves as being able to handle the pressure of being a member of the Union Executive will be a step ahead of others who perhaps can’t.

As a result of the campaign budget being cut drastically, voters will be on the look out for honest, intelligent, unusual and imaginative campaign ideas. It’s important to be memorable if you stand any chance of competing, so make those campaigns something that we’ve never seen before.

Presentation, dress and appearance are not to be underestimated and are also very important towards a campaign. By looking presentable it is assumed that a candidate is serious about their running and once again this will make them stand out from others.

Lastly, the most important aspect to the ideal candidate is their ideas and thoughts. What each individual candidate has to say in his or her manifesto and at hustings will be one of the biggest game changers. Voters will be looking for someone with fresh new ideas and ones that can drive the Union on to becoming bigger and better than ever before.

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